ENGLAND: Premier League
Date: Sunday, 09 May 2021
Kick-off at 15:05 UK/ 15:05 CET
Venue: Villa Park (Birmingham)
Whilst it is mathematically possible to still make the top seven, two wins from their last nine Premier League (PL) outings (W2, D3, L4) likely leaves Aston Villa with too great a deficit to cut with five remaining fixtures. Villa’s sturdy defence gives them a chance here though, as their 14 clean sheets this campaign is already the most they’ve kept in a PL season since 2009/10 (15).
The side scoring first has failed to win in Villa’s last three home games (W1, D1, L1), although they did manage to claim their last four home points from losing positions. That never-say-die attitude has been seen at times when starting as an underdog too, as across all venues, Villa are unbeaten in eight of 15 PL games in which they started as an outsider (W7, D1, L7).
Manchester United’s busy schedule continues, as they play their second game this week and have another in just two days. Consequently, some careful squad management will be expected from boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Still, they’ve won six of their last eight competitive games (D1, L1) and will all-but secure another top-four position with victory here.
The ‘Red Devils’ are on an incredible unbeaten run of 24 PL away games (W15, D9), yet that’s come about despite scoring first in just three of their 17 such trips this season. Subsequently, they’ve picked up an astounding league-high 25 points when falling behind away from home (W8, D1).
Players to watch: Villa’s Ollie Watkins (13 PL goals) has averaged 2.7 shots per PL game so far, and hit the match opener in two of his last four starts. Man United have scored a joint league-high eight penalties ahead of the round, so it’s notable that Bruno Fernandes has scored from the spot in his last two H2H appearances.
- Aston Villa’s form in last 5 matches: WDLLW.
- Manchester Utd’s form in last 5 matches: LWDWW.